(Check against delivery)
Thank you, Mme. President,
I would like to begin by thanking you for convening this important meeting.
The world witnessed a historic summit meeting between the United States and North Korea. Japan welcomes this undertaking, and strongly hopes that this momentum will lead to the resolution of the nuclear, missile and abductions issues.
We are at a critical juncture: Japan hopes that North Korea will seize this opportunity and take concrete steps to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of all WMD and ballistic missiles of all ranges, as required under the series of resolutions by this Council. We believe that only these steps will help North Korea realize a bright future.
While engaging with North Korea, we must fully implement the relevant Security Council resolutions for North Korea to understand that there is no other way but to change its policy. We must not waver in this determination.
I would also like to underscore that now is not a time to ease or lift any of the sanctions. If North Korea believes it can get sanctions relaxed while keeping its nuclear weapons, it would certainly reduce the incentive for North Korea to achieve complete denuclearization.
Japan will spare no effort to ensure the effectiveness of the relevant Security Council resolutions. We must maintain the solidarity of the international community to stop sanction evasion activities.
In this regard, Japan shares the United States’ view that North Korea has breached the 2018 annual cap for refined petroleum products established by Security Council resolution 2397.
It is important that all Member States immediately stop supplying refined petroleum products to North Korea, and Japan will work closely with the countries concerned including the United States.
As already announced, some countries, including Japan and the United States, are engaging in monitoring and surveillance efforts against illicit maritime activities including ship-to-ship transfers, with patrol aircrafts stationing in Japan.
In order to achieve a comprehensive solution to the issues related to North Korea, we ask the Security Council to maintain its unity in fully implementing the relevant Security Council resolutions.
We should not lose sight of our common cause of achieving complete denuclearization of North Korea, nor should we allow the very authority of this Council to be challenged by diverting our attention away from cynical attempts to flout the existing sanction regime. Japan will continue to accelerate efforts to ensure their effective implementation, together with all countries.
Finally, we sincerely hope that the Inter-Korean Summit Meeting to be held this week will lead to concrete actions towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
I thank you, Mme. President.